A Spacesuit Is Just a Spacesuit, or Is It?

File this one under “too much time on our hands.” But the fashion choices of Russian astronauts is now newsworthy. On March 19, 2022, the Russians showed up in the International Space Station wearing the national colors of Ukraine.

There is a debate online if the astronauts were showing support for Ukraine by donning their national colors. A few things cut against this idea. Trips to space are meticulously planned out. Weight is a crucial factor when blasting off in a giant rocket so everything down to the last toiletry is cataloged and cleared before takeoff. It is unlikely the astronauts would have been able to craft the suits and all three men sneak them aboard without getting caught.

There is also a plausible explanation for the color scheme.

If the astronauts designed the patches, then they also could have designed the suits. The bright yellow jumpsuits could be the type of prank that pilots are notorious for. Given that all three men attended the same school it is more likely that they are unified in their support for Bauman Moscow State Technical School than all three men agreeing on the complicated issue of the Ukraine invasion.

The other issue that no one seems to be talking about is that the Russian space program is as high-profile as it gets. There is no way that an impromptu Ukraine protest is not going to be noticed by Putin. The risk seems too high for these men to come out so publicly against Putin.

That said, the three astronauts are conspicuously silent on the matter. They could very easily come out and explain their side of the controversy. But so far, they have neglected to do so. This does leave a doubt. And it is possible that the flight suits are, in fact, meant to be a show of support for Ukraine.

Let us hope for their sake, it forever remains a mystery if that is the case.